Extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli (ESBLEC) have become a major health concern in both human and veterinary medicine. These bacteria could become a critical problem in equine medicine due to the limited number of antimicrobial drugs available. However, there are no previous reports of ESBLEC isolated from horses in Japan. The objectives of this study were to investigate the occurrence of ESBLEC isolated from feces in healthy Thoroughbred racehorses in Japan. Feces samples were collected from 147 healthy Thoroughbred racehorses by equine veterinarians at the Japan Racing Association (103 from Miho Training Center and 44 from Ritto Training Center) between March 2017 and April 2018. Samples were screened for ESBLECs using MacConkey agar supplemented with 1 µg/ml cefotaxime. Detection of ESBL genes was performed by PCR and confirmed by DNA sequencing. Horizontal transmission was demonstrated by conjugation assay. In this study, 24 ESBLECs were isolated from twelve horse feces samples (8.2%). All ESBLECs harbored blaCTX-M-2, and both blaTEM-1 and blaCTX-M-2 were detected in nine isolates (37.5%). ESBLECs showed resistance to all β-lactam antibiotics (100%) tested, followed by trimethoprim (66.7%), streptomycin (62.5%), tetracycline (25.0%), and oxytetracycline (25.0%). Horizontal transmission was successfully demonstrated by conjugation assay in eight of 13 isolates, and blaCTX-M-2 was detected by PCR in all transconjugants. This study showed that racehorses in Japan are potential reservoirs of ESBLECs.
Recently, the illegal use of novel technologies, such as gene and cell therapies, has become a great concern for the horseracing industry. As a potential way to control this, metabolomics approaches that comprehensively analyze metabolites in biological samples have been gaining attention. However, it may be difficult to identify metabolic biomarkers for doping because physiological conditions generally differ between resting and exercise states in horses. To understand the metabolic differences in horse plasma between the resting state at training centres and the sample collection stage after racing for doping test (SAD), we took plasma samples from these two stages (n=30 for each stage) and compared the metabolites present in these samples by liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry. This analysis identified 5,010 peaks, of which 1,256 peaks (approximately 25%) were annotated using KEGG analysis. Principal component analysis showed that the resting state and SAD groups had entirely different metabolite compositions. In particular, the levels of inosine, xanthosine, uric acid, and allantoin, which are induced by extensive exercise, were significantly increased in the SAD group. In addition, many metabolites not affected by extensive exercise were also identified. These results will contribute to the discovery of biomarkers for detecting doping substances that cannot be detected by conventional methods.
Equine proliferative enteropathy (EPE) caused by Lawsonia intracellularis is characterized by hypoproteinemia. There are currently no reliable reports that provide a reference value for the total serum protein (TP) concentration to clinically diagnose EPE. The objective of this study was to statistically determine the reference value. Feces and sera of 99 foals with EPE-like clinical signs and of 35 healthy foals were obtained. The samples were used for specific-gene detection of L. intracellularis, TP measurement, and specific-antibody detection against L. intracellularis. Based on these results, the optimal reference value for the TP concentration as a clinical diagnostic index of EPE was found to be ≤ 4.8 g/dl. This clinical diagnostic index will provide an effective approach for diagnosing EPE.
The Noma horse is a Japanese breed from the Noma region of Imabari City, Ehime Prefecture. To obtain reference hematological and biochemical values, we performed examinations in 39 clinically healthy, mature Noma horses managed at the Imabari public ranch. Hematological and biochemical results of Noma horses were close to the normal ranges of horses in the U.S.A. The erythrocyte parameters and hepatobiliary enzyme levels in Noma and Kiso horses were lower than those in Japanese racehorses. Noma horses showed higher erythrocyte parameters and triglyceride concentrations and a lower creatinine concentration compared with those in Kiso horses. These data represent the first report of reference values for Noma horses and may be useful to improve their management.